“O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation! Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the heights and strength of the hills are His also. The sea is His, for He made it; and His hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker [in reverent praise and supplication]” (Psalm 95:1-6 Amp).
As I was meditating on the things of God and praying to him about his goodness, a thought came to my mind. I was thinking about how the people of this world are so different, yet so alike. We may eat different foods and speak different languages, but we all are very similar. One way in which we are similar is how we worship. You can go all over the world, and no matter if you are Muslim, Christian or Buddhist, they all bow down to their God as an act of showing reverence, praise, and respect.
The Greek word for “bow” is “kampto,” and it is defined as meaning to bend or bow down in honor of One, commonly used of worshipers. It is very interesting that the definition specifically stated that the worship is directed to One and not many, as so many other non-Christian religions believe. For we know that our true worship is only given to Jesus.
We can tell that to bow is very important to God, because he specifically uses that word in the Old and New Testament 44 times; and he also uses the word “bowed” 88 times in the Bible.
Why is the act of bowing down so important to God?
The Bible says in Exodus 20:1-6 (KJV), “And God spake all these words, saying, ‘I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.’”
We can see here that God is a jealous God and is not pleased when anyone receives praise other than him. He tells the Children of Israel specifically not to bow down to any other God, but also not to make any graven images of anything that is in heaven above, the earth beneath, or that is in the water beneath. So, you can see here that when God tells you something, he gets specific so that there is no excuse for disobedience.
Jesus received praise even as a child before he performed many miracles and works of God. “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Matthew 2:10-11 NKJV).
So, Jesus has always received praise and honor. He was recognized as the Son of God from the beginning and was bowed down to and worshiped from the time of his birth even until now. Even though Jesus is calling for all your praise, there is someone else who wants it as well, and his name is Satan! Satan wants you to praise him, worship and bow down to him. He doesn’t care if you willfully, knowingly or unknowingly do it; he just wants it. He wants you to focus all your time on things of this world and not on Jesus. He wants those things to become your idol so he gets the praise and not God.
Satan is bold; he is so bold that he even mustered up the strength to ask Jesus to praise him. “Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give You if You will fall (bow) down and worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve’” (Matthew 4:8-10 NKJV).
So, as you can see, the Devil will do whatever he must to get you to praise him. He will promise you fame, fortune, or even the kingdoms of this world, as he did with Jesus. He will lure you with whatever it takes. My pastor likes to say, “The Devil has a candy bar for everyone, and he knows exactly what flavor you like.” If all this doesn’t work, he might even go as far as threatening your life.
But I will tell you right now, I know there is someone who will stand with me and will say “For God I live and for God I will die.” No matter what the Devil tries to do to you, it will not work with God on your side. He does not have the final say so, and the Lord will protect you when you stand up for him.
This reminds me of a very familiar story in Daniel of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego:
“Nebuchadnezzar, the king, made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its width six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. And King Nebuchadnezzar sent word to gather together the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
So the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered together for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then a herald cried aloud: ‘To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up; and whomever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.’
So at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the horn, flute, harp and lyre, in symphony with all kinds of music, all the people, nations and languages fell down and worshiped the gold image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
Therefore, at that time, certain Chaldeans came forward and accused the Jews. They spoke and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, ‘O king, live forever! You, O king, have made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the gold image; and whomever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up.’
Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. So they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, ‘Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up? Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?’
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.’
Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, ‘Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?’ They answered and said to the king, ‘True, O king.’
‘Look!’ he answered, ‘I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.’
Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, ‘Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.’ Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came from the midst of the fire. And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.
Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! Therefore, I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.’
Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon” (Daniel 3:1-30 NKJV).
This is the perfect example of how serious God feels about praise to anything else other than him. If you will be willing to be put in a fiery furnace before praising another god, he is willing to take every obstacle out of your way. The very reason why we exist is to give praise to Jesus, and Jesus only! Any other praise given to any other entity, alive or dead, is totally against the Will of God!
Paul says in Romans 11:1-4(Amp), “I say then, has God rejected and disowned His people? Certainly not! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected His [chosen] people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?’:
‘Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left [of the prophets], and they are seeking my life.’ But what is God’s response to him? ‘I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.’”
Will you be one of the few who will not bow your knees to Satan! We who are truly born again and have the truth, let all worship that is shown, be shown to Jesus, and him only! Because at the end of it all, when everything is said and done, he will receive the glory and honor that is due his name!
It is written in Phil. 2:10-11(KJV), “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”